Is that a mirror ball being wheeled through the breakfast room? Of course it is. The Establishment is that kind of place: grown-up enough to offer breakfast in an atrium with cathedral ceiling, but still a bit rock 'n' roll. Accessed via a gritty city alley, it's an in-the-know secret that largely bypasses the suited crowd in the rowdy bar. Guestrooms retain all the character of the building's former life as a textile warehouse, with timber-beamed ceilings and thickly textured walls. To this has been added every chic accessory the modern traveller requires: cowhide rugs, iPads, a deep bath, Netflix, a Bose sound system and, quaintly, a CD library. Discretion is the keynote: staff are there when you need them and vanish when you don't.
Room service from Mr Wong, Dan Hong's buzzy Cantonese restaurant around the corner, is a must. Order wok-fried beef with kampot pepper and onions, add Netflix and chill.
The Merivale entertainment empire is arrayed around you, with nine bars and restaurants in the hotel complex. From cocktails at the speakeasy-style Palmer & Co to the louche lounge at Hemmesphere, you're spoiled for night-time choices.
Establishment Garden is a magnificent setting for breakfast, the exposed brick walls covered in greenery and topped by a lofty glass ceiling. À la carte offerings include an Asian-style omelette of Alaskan snow crab, and ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb and banana jam.
From a Tank Stream Sour at Establishment Bar to The Extravagant (18-year-old whisky and Palmer & Co's spiced rum) at Hemmesphere, there's something for everyone. Or reach for the Ruinart in the minibar.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.